everyone hits the wall…
Everyone has highs and lows which can swing based on so many elements like weather, relationships, financial pressures, health, pandemics, and much more.
When these factors attack, they can push a negative cloud into your creativity and throw your productivity sideways. For some people this can be for a short period and for others it can make you question your abilities. When these creative walls hit, a person whose job is based on coming up with creative concepts like a designer, an artist, a writer, a musician or anyone… it can be a disaster.
the challenge to create
Creative people survive on the challenge of continually coming up with new concepts to solve problems. The surge that comes from the satisfaction of birthing a solid creative idea can be a huge burst of self-esteem.
But what happens when you hit the creative wall or the blank page and no ideas come to you? What do you do?
Breaking through the creative wall.
Everyone will have that day when ideas don’t come. Having a coping system for when these moments in life and careers happen is an essential part of your creative toolkit. In our post about the creative process, we identified how a structured system allows for turning thoughts and research into executable marketing concepts and likewise for a creative block.
How to clear a creative block:
Step one: walk away
A clear perspective is always the first step to open your thinking. How often have you been doing something totally unrelated and that brilliant idea hits you out of your subconscious? It’s just like when you stump yourself trying to remember some movie or song out of your childhood and frustration and google kicks in. Then the answer pops out of nowhere as you’re about to order a coffee… all because you let it go…
Step two: change your thinking
Distract yourself away from what you’re trying to solve. If you’re trying to figure how to gain attention for a fitness centre, take a look at how your favourite sports franchise connects with its fans or take a look at what the top 10 recipes for cauliflower are. Just go in a different direction to clear your brain.
Step three: go for a run
Exercise is creativity’s best friend. Take a break and get physical. No matter what your version of a run is… a walk in the park, a squash game, or a 50 km bike ride… whatever gets your heart rate up and makes you break a sweat will help to recharge your creative mind.
Step four: get inspired
Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration usually starts with a coffee in a book store, just randomly going through different books and magazines that are not necessarily related to what I’m working on. Your place may be a hardware store or forest or maybe a yoga studio, the most important aspect is ‘place’. Get out of your normal work zone. A change will do you good.
What if you’re on a deadline?
Everyone is on a deadline. Everyone works to a schedule. Whether you’re an astronaut or surgeon or an art director the clock is ticking. Time management is your most important life skill. Plan your projects by breaking them into stages and prioritize.
At any given time at our design agency, we have at least ten projects for multiple clients running through all at different stages. If we hit a wall on one, we jump to another project and come back to the priority an hour later, and surprisingly that change of direction gives us the break we need for new thinking.
The creative wall can be broken by going through all or one of these steps.
The most important thing is to find ways to get through it and don’t let it rule your mind. We’ve all been here before and we’ll be here again.
Take care, and enjoy the distractions. Your best ideas are yet to come.
cheers grant ivens, rgd
brand surgeon | rocket scientist | educator
say what! communications corp.